5K to 13.1: Autumn Race Planning

St Pauls Church at Jarrow

Fall has always seemed like a time of new beginnings, anticipation, and optimism. Although I no longer get new pencils and spiral bound notebooks, I still get the urge to plan for the upcoming months. The weather is cooling off, the air is fresh, and I want to RUN!

I’ve come up with a preliminary plan of the races I will participate in this winter, building in distance from 5K to half marathon. One race an old standby and the others new experiences!

  1. 10/22/11 Run for Your Lives! – This is not your average 5K; it’s a zombie infested 5K obstacle course! The zombies will do whatever it takes to chase you down and grab your health flags (think flag football). If you lose all your health flags, you die, and the zombies win. We certainly can’t have that happen! Also, I just noticed that a portion of each registration is donated to the American Red Cross. Even better!
  2. 11/24/11 Bethesda YMCA Turkey Chase 10KIt’s always good to get out first think Thanksgiving morning and burn some calories. Gotta earn that pumpkin pie! This will be my 3rd time participating in this race. Now that my husband and I host Thanksgiving, it will likely be the 3rd of many! Can I set a PR?
  3. 12/3/11 Hot Chocolate 15KAny race sponsored by Ghirardelli has got to be good. The race begins and ends in DC’s National Harbor, which is always very festive at wintertime. The post race party has chocolate fondue and hot chocolate! I better register soon to ensure my commemorative windbreaker.
  4. 2/26/12 Disney Princess Half MarathonI’ve already talked about this before, but this race sounds like a blast! It will give me an excuse to go to Florida in the winter, and be my first women’s oriented race. I am so looking forward to earning that commemorative tiara for finishing. I just hope I get to see Chip and Dale. They’re my fave!
Whew! That’s a big list of races. I certainly have my work cut out for me. I love having goals to keep me motivated though. What keeps YOU motivated during the winter?

Speed Work Saturday!

A track and football field at the stadium at N...

Image via Wikipedia

I had originally planned to do a trail run this morning, but an emergency vet visit threw a wrench in that plan. Good think we took him in, because Cecil ended up having pancreatitis. He’s now on an IV drip and being watched over night. The vet says we caught it really early and it looks like he’ll be home tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed!

Since we were pressed on time, we decided to swap out a longer trail run with speed work. Now I’ll admit, I’m still learning about speed work and make it up as I go along. Here is what today’s workout entailed:

  • 3/4mi jog to a neighborhood school track.
  • 4 laps (1mi) strides. I up my speed to a challenging yet not all-out pace for the straights and jog the curves to recover.
  • 5 x 50m sprints. I’m approximating the distance here. It’s about half of one of the straights. This is a full-out, as fast as you can go sprint. I walk back in between sets to recover.
  • 3/4mi jog back home.

Door to door, this workout took me 34 minutes. Total distance was probably 3 miles or so. I don’t stress about total distance in my speed workouts, but focus on the quality of the intervals. Got to get that heart rate up!

So that was my workout. I try to do speed work once a week to mix things up. I think it’s helpful in pushing the boundaries and increasing my speed.

What about you, do you train for speed? What is your favorite speed workout?

Surprise! Princess Post Picked Up

Yesterday’s post, Run Like a Princess, was picked up by Hollywood Star Running News!  I learned this via twitter when I woke up this morning.  What a welcome surprise!  I’m such a new blog that it was a total shock!!  I’ll take all the publicity I can get.  I’m just glad to hear at least one other person is reading.

In case you’re wondering, Hollywood Star Running News is a newspaper created by Hollywood Half Marathon built from articles, blog posts, videos and photos shared on Twitter about running.  I just checked it out this morning, and it seems like a great place to see what’s going on in running across the US. 

Check it out! I’m at the very bottom of the page for Thursday Sept 15.

Run like a Princess?!

Disney pincess

Image via Wikipedia

A coworker is running the Disney Princess Half Marathon on February 26.  It is her first ever half marathon!  She has invited me to join her.  Needless to say, I’m seriously considering it.

Cons:

  • Cost. Not only registration, but also airfare and accommodations.
  •  A late February half means I’ll be doing most of my training in dreary January and February.
  • 13.1 miles is so much longer than a 15K.  (OK, so this is probably more a psychological barrier.  I can be a wimp.)
  • I’d have to use at least a day of my limited vacation time.
Pros:
  • It would be my second half marathon!  Meaning that my first one wasn’t a fluke!
  • Orlando is warm but not hot, and FLAT. 🙂
  • Running through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot with Disney characters cheering me on?  Yes Please!
  • An excuse to travel and escape for a girls weekend with new friends.
  • I’d have a goal that would drive my fitness through the winter.
  • I would feel AWESOME!

The Pros have it.  You can tell where my heart is leaning.  Guess I should start saving!! Methinks it’ll be totally worth it 🙂